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View Full Version : Cathay A340 engine surges on take off at LHR


theskyboy
4th Jun 2006, 21:36
Hi All

I've just watched this evenings CX256 ( I think?) take off from LHR. There were very loud bangs, and flames coming out of the no. 3 engine.

As someone who works on the other side of the flight deck door it still gave me quite a shock. Must have been pretty loud in the cabin too? Was this an engine surge or flame out?

Would the aircraft return to London?

Interested to know your thoughts and any further info on the flight?

Cheers all.
tsb

point5
4th Jun 2006, 22:26
Aircraft returned to Heathrow and performed an overweight landing. Landed 27L - 2 landers on 27R to accomodate runway inspection. Well handled by all concerned.

Cheers!

411A
4th Jun 2006, 22:59
Hmmm, quite a difference than a BA 747, ex-LAX, me thinks...;)
Well done, it would appear.

Report@Boddam
4th Jun 2006, 23:12
411A

Is this the same guy that thought an engine failure on a previous thread was a non event. :ugh:

411A
5th Jun 2006, 03:55
An engine failure, Report@Boddam, is not a 'non event', but neither is it a reason to rush to panic stations, now is it?:* :hmm:

silverhawk
5th Jun 2006, 06:39
A never ending source of entertainment. At least we know you believe in what you say. Please try to enjoy your retirement.

OzExpat
5th Jun 2006, 09:02
I find myself in agreement with 411A because, while an engine failure is a serious event, it's not an excuse to rush anything. Take enough time to get it right because you'll have less chance of shutting down the wrong engine. Transport category aeroplanes (ie FAR 25 types) will fly with OEI and most companies have OEI escape procedures to keep the aeroplane away from things that stick up out of the ground.

First rule, as always, fly the aeroplane to keep it away from rocks and stuff. Then work out which one died and act accordingly. More chance of getting it right. Just like the result in the case of the incident that is the subject of this thread.

angels
5th Jun 2006, 09:10
Humble SLF here.

Surely OzExpat has hit the nail right on the head?

cathay257
5th Jun 2006, 12:02
My mum was on that flight. supposedly they all heard bangs from the engine during climbout and the captain elected to return to LHR.

Logistical nightmare for CX tho having to put up all these people in hotels.
She said that they have been split between CX252 and QF30 departing at lunchtime today.

Any ideas on what will happen to the aircraft, I believe to be B-HXI?
Will it fly back empty as CX now have a spare aircraft in LHR, albeit broken atm...

Flip Flop Flyer
5th Jun 2006, 13:40
"broken atm". Apologies in advance, English is not my first language, but have Cathay begun to install ATMs onboard their aeroplanes? Sounds like a smashing idea tho(ugh).

EI-CFC
5th Jun 2006, 14:45
atm, I'm assuming in this context stands for "at the moment"

411A
5th Jun 2006, 17:37
Read OzExpat's comments well, for he gets to the heart of the matter.

I have noticed guys (and a few gals as well) rush procedures in the sim, and invariably...get it wrong.

Not good...:rolleyes:

Eff Oh
5th Jun 2006, 19:25
411A
Rushing procedures in the sim is perhaps an indication of poor training. If you are involved in checking, are you not also involved in training? Perhaps you should bring this up in your next training meeting, and not on PPRuNe. Being just a youngster myself, I was always taught that everything is done in SLOWTIME, and every movement of any critical system's levers or switches are cross checked. But then again perhaps I was trained under a different regime. I was also always taught to use a Mayday following an engine failure or shutdown. It can always be downgraded. Many of my points of view have already been voiced on the other thread.
Eff Oh.

JW411
5th Jun 2006, 19:45
Interestingly enough I have spent 40-odd years teaching pilots to "sit on their fingers" when something goes wrong. Only mistakes are made in a hurry.

The only possible emergency in a modern aeroplane that does NOT allow you to sit on your fingers is the sudden loss of cabin pressure at altitude.

If you do not get that oxygen mask on your face within 30 seconds you are going to be no good to man nor beast.

Anything else (including an engine fire on take-off) you have got time to sit on your fingers before touching things that might be serious if touched in a hurry.

Sharpie
6th Jun 2006, 05:07
One would have to agree with Ozexpat, who by the sounds of things must have a welter of sim experience along with deflated tyres and emulating Weismuller!

Cheers, Ozzie.:rolleyes:

411A
6th Jun 2006, 06:04
No, Eff Oh, not poor training, it is just that sometimes these young guys have their head up their behind, and don't THINK.
A little 'encouragement' usually does the trick...as in, 'do THAT again, and you're OFF the fleet.'
Works like a charm...:E

MOR
6th Jun 2006, 06:43
Eff Oh

An engine failure is, by definition, not a MAYDAY call (unless you are in a single). It is always a PAN, calling MAYDAY and then downgrading it is unnecessary and pushes all the wrong buttons on the other end of the radio call.

"SLOWTIME" is good though.

GOLF_BRAVO_ZULU
6th Jun 2006, 07:15
Eff Oh

An engine failure is, by definition, not a MAYDAY call (unless you are in a single). It is always a PAN, calling MAYDAY and then downgrading it is unnecessary and pushes all the wrong buttons on the other end of the radio call.

"SLOWTIME" is good though.

For what it's worth, as an ex NATS Contoller, I agree with Eff Oh. When one's busy, it's not good to disrupt all your other traffic comms unless you really need to.

Lost For Words
6th Jun 2006, 07:40
Hmmm, does having 4 engines mean that you are TWICE as likely to have an engine failure as in a twin?

I think it does.

Of course the consequences of losing one in a twin are more serious...

Or are they? Dump fuel and land seems to be the general drill in either case. (Or not dumping fuel as in the case of this CX)

So who needs 4 engines these days?

Capt Claret
6th Jun 2006, 09:11
I've yet to fly an aircraft, including a 4 engined jet, that can dump fuel. Dumping fuel is one of aviation's great myths, almost on a par with (pre RVSM) aircraft emergency at 30,000 feet. :bored:

L337
6th Jun 2006, 09:52
I've yet to fly an aircraft, including a 4 engined jet, that can dump fuel. Dumping fuel is one of aviation's great myths,

News to me!

Last time I looked on my 747-400 (Yesterday) Fuel dumping was still available.

do THAT again, and you're OFF the fleet

Now that is Poor Training.

l337

exvicar
6th Jun 2006, 10:05
A340 can also dump fuel as can A380. Which 4 engine aircraft did you used to fly that couldn't dump fuel?

fire wall
6th Jun 2006, 10:06
Golf Bravo Zulu, I read with interest your statement. I had the good fortune to visit London Air Traffic Control Centre in 1994 and one of the discussions with the senior ops controller centred around this very topic. His words were when an a/c loses 50% or more of it's thrust then they expect you to preface your next transmission with "Mayday Mayday Mayday ......... " and, if appropriate at a later time downgrade to Pan status.

On the 747 if we lose 2 then it is a mayday ..... on the twin ????? Damn shame if you whispered Pan after the loss of # 1 and proceed to do a lazy circuit only to find # 2 wind down as a result of, for arguements sake, fuel contamination.

What do you think?

.....and with regards Capt Clarets comment ... we jettison fuel is what he is trying to get accross..... fire bombers dump their load .... amongst others!

bia botal
6th Jun 2006, 10:07
A340 can also dump fuel as can A380. Which 4 engine aircraft did you used to fly that couldn't dump fuel?

maybe a bae 146

Eff Oh
6th Jun 2006, 10:51
411A
You are a charmer indeed. Do you believe in training or chopping? "Do that again and you are off the fleet" How about showing the guy how it's ment to be done, and what is expected of him rather than threatening him??!! You must be a nightmare to fly with (heard of CRM???) I am a "young guy" as you put it (27 years old, 7 years airline), and I have seen some absolute howlers in the sim from "gentlemen of more mature years." Things I wouldn't dream of doing. We can and DO ALL make mistakes, without proper TRAINING (not shouting and or threatening) how the hell do you expect someone to perform?
Capt Claret
The B767-300ER I fly is fitted with fuel dump.
MOR
As I said I fly the B757/767, a twin. If I have an engine rundown during flight, in particular on take off, then for me it is a Mayday. How do I know what caused it? More importantly, how do I know that what caused the first to fail, will not cause the second to f ail? ie Fuel contamination. Better safe than sorry as my old gran used to say!

exvicar
6th Jun 2006, 10:55
Wasn't saying that there aren't 4 engined aircraft that cannot dump fuel, just wondering what he was basing his statement on. Dump or jettison, does it really matter?

GOLF_BRAVO_ZULU
6th Jun 2006, 16:35
Golf Bravo Zulu, I read with interest your statement. I had the good fortune to visit London Air Traffic Control Centre in 1994 and one of the discussions with the senior ops controller centred around this very topic. His words were when an a/c loses 50% or more of it's thrust then they expect you to preface your next transmission with "Mayday Mayday Mayday ......... " and, if appropriate at a later time downgrade to Pan status.

On the 747 if we lose 2 then it is a mayday ..... on the twin ????? Damn shame if you whispered Pan after the loss of # 1 and proceed to do a lazy circuit only to find # 2 wind down as a result of, for arguements sake, fuel contamination.

What do you think?



That will teach me to launch a Post between crunching the cornflakes and joining the traffic jam! and an object lesson on the virtues of slow-time thrown in. Did you also note that I was attempting to agree with Mor but crossed the callsigns? I should have also paid more attention to the "unless you are in a single" side comment. Anyway, I was brain locked into 4 engine mode. The LATCC man was quite right; losing 1 donk from 4 is not a MAYDAY; unless it's accompanied by a fire. A loss in anything less than tri-jet/tri-motor is.

lomapaseo
6th Jun 2006, 17:33
Sounds like a classic surge as shown in the training material

discussed in this link

http://www.fromtheflightdeck.com/

The material is contained under the button link Engine training

If you would like a CD copy contact this person

[email protected]

Captain Airclues
6th Jun 2006, 18:57
The engine surge is also discussed by the US NTSB

www.ntsb.gov/aviation/jet_engine_problems.pdf

Airclues

The Blu Riband
6th Jun 2006, 20:06
411
your post reeks , as always , of arrogance, dreadful crm and poor technique. Thank god you've retired. Go and get a life!

refso
6th Jun 2006, 20:17
Go and get a life!
That's the problem with 411A, he doesn't :ugh:

Lord Snot
6th Jun 2006, 21:06
An engine failure is, by definition, not a MAYDAY call.... It is always a PANThis maybe so in Australia, but it's definitely NOT so in a lot of the many, many airports outside of Australia where standards of English and ATC proficiency are poor.

In places like these, about the only way to get ATC's attention and be sure they know you have a problem and prioritise you accordingly is to declare a MAYDAY.

theskyboy
6th Jun 2006, 23:34
Thanks to those of you who replied to my questions about the nature of the incident. Particularly the links from lomapaseo and Captain Airclues.:D

I didn't really intend this to become the bitch fest that is has, I was shocked and excited by what I had witnessed as I believe, from talking to flight crew colleagues, it's quite rare.

Cheers all,

tsb

xetroV
7th Jun 2006, 01:09
Funny that declaring an emergency is thought to be equivalent to panicking and rushing procedures. So that's the difference between having an engine failure, calling PAN and sorting things out versus having an engine failure, calling MAYDAY and sorting things out! Yeah, sure. :rolleyes:

Yet another sign of the brains of the Old Dinosaur already fading away.

Capt Claret
7th Jun 2006, 01:09
I admit my previous post on this thread was somewhat obtuse.

The 4 engined jet was a BAe146. I know, some don't consider it to be a real jet.

What I was trying to do, albeit spectacularly unsuccessfully, was to highlight the numerous press reports of, "the stricken jet flew around dumping fuel", when many, I suspect most types can't.

Tight Slot
7th Jun 2006, 02:00
that ****kin 411 chap wants his head kicked in

visibility3miles
7th Jun 2006, 03:38
Naive question:

Regardless of whether the plane could dump fuel while turning around to land at LHR, is it possible they didn't think it was a good idea to dump fuel over London at a relatively low altitude?

tifters
7th Jun 2006, 03:53
Maybe a management type who figured that an overwieght landing check was far cheaper than dumping all that fuel!!! ;)

GANKER
7th Jun 2006, 05:37
Did it manage to make any of the papers? Or are these things a common occurrence and dont get any attention?

Few Cloudy
7th Jun 2006, 06:45
About 3% of this thread is relevant.

The rest of it is misinformation, disinformation and ego scratching.

What a waste of time and space.

In answer to a couple of the relevant questions:

Engine popping / surging occurs fairly regularly - can be for
various reasons including bird strike / FOD ingestion, failure
of FCU / ECAM and icing amongst others. It is dealt with by
reducing thrust or shutting down in extreme cases but either
way you will have a performance loss.

Performance loss on take off is quite different from performance
loss in cruise and needs careful and practised handling to get
it right.

FC.

SMOC
7th Jun 2006, 07:12
Straight out of the Airbus A340 FCOM.

"In exceptional conditions (in flight turn back or diversion), an immediate landing at weight[s] above maximum landing weight is permitted provided that the pilot follows the overweight landing procedure."

Which basically goes on to say Autoland is certified up to MLW but has been performed successfully up to MTOW.

Check LDG DIST.
Determine LDG CONF

& reduce speed to VLS at the threshold, and touch down as smooth as possible.

NigelOnDraft
7th Jun 2006, 07:12
Maybe a management type who figured that an overweight landing check was far cheaper than dumping all that fuel!!! Can't remember A340 details. However, 767-300ER - some had "dump" capability - only Centre tank could be dumpred / jettisoned. So you could easily dump and still be above MLW... just less so than if you did not / could not dump....

HotDog
7th Jun 2006, 08:39
All the types I operated on were certified to land at MTOW if necessary but an overweight landing inspection was mandatory. I think most aircraft are the same.

glider insider
7th Jun 2006, 11:55
Engine surges are quite impressive to watch, I saw a B747 have a double surge as it increased power for Take Off, now that was a loud (double) bang. I believe the crew blamed the 40 - 45kt cross wind component, saying the fuselage blanked the engine intake.

It was interesting to see the PAX get back on the same ac and have another go a few hours later. The faces were all slightly paler than the first time, with some looking rather nervous.

helldog
7th Jun 2006, 16:16
I don't know is you could say an engine failure is always a PAN on a multi. Lets say in the cruise then managing to maintain a safe height it would be a PAN. After takeoff if you cant climb and it looks like your about to dig up some potatos, then I would say MAYDAY.

Ok just to throw a curly one in there. I have always wondered why light twins dont have a fuel dump system. Most will struggle to maintain height with an EFATO. So it would not be environmentally friendly, thats a point , but it would be a rare occurance. I am thinking something along the lines of a big red handle you can pull, for emergency only. Maybe to loose 10kg per second or something like that. Might be just enough to save you. Then it could be set to stop at 30min fuel remaining or something like that.I know the environmental point will come up here, but I am sure you could design a nozzle to spray the fuel out so it is well dispersed once it reaches the ground. Just a thought.

Basil
7th Jun 2006, 19:12
helldog,
It's really up to the pilot-in-command.
Personally, if I'd a failure in a 3 or 4 in the cruise then it would be a pan or mayday to get the attention necessary to warn ATC and other aircraft that we have to descend without clearance. Then, when the situation is contained, one could downgrade or cancel.
It isn't a big deal and no captain should hesitate to declare the state of emergency seen fit at the time.
I'd take a lot of PPRuNe comments with a large pinch of salt.
There's some wheat here but a heck of a lot of chaff too :rolleyes:

helldog
8th Jun 2006, 10:04
Yeah I suppose I did not consider it from your point of view as I have never flown a big machine before. Shorts 360, Kingair, F406, they can all climb. But the Aztec for instance, it only has a hydraulic pump on one engine(cant remember which now) if you loose that one you have to not only do all the other stuff, you have to pump like crazy to get the gear up! I guess its a whole different ballgame in a four engine heavy jet, lots of other things to consider. I guess what we are all saying here is that it is up to the dude in the left seat to make the call when considering all the relevant factors at the time.

Basil
8th Jun 2006, 13:12
helldog,
Aztec! That's a whole different set of problems. Years ago the boss wanted me to take one with a u/s Turn Indicator and one vac pump u/s in poor weather (can we say 'crap' here?)
If the eng with the operating vac p/p had failed the horizon would have wound down and I'd have been left assymetric with no attitude reference apart from the slip indicator and compass.
He looked disappointed when I declined :*

Liam Gallagher
8th Jun 2006, 13:40
Back to the original topic;

Firstly, Cx pilot yes, 340 pilot no, but almost certain they didn't have gas for HKG ,so they were looking for the best place to land; LHR was always the winner. If you are looking for a stick to beat the BA LAX crew with; choose another stick.....

Secondly, check your QRH for an Engine Surge. Make no comment on the 340
however, in some big aircraft, retard the thrust lever, if engine operates normally, reinstate thrust and press on...

Thirdly, Engine failure may in itself not be an emergency, however in the cruise in the more remote parts of the world (say St Petersburg to HKG:ooh: ), an inability to maintain altitude is a problem and rather rapidly the word "mayday" will become appropriate I humbly suggest....

Still, never let the facts get in the way of a good story....

GearDown&Locked
9th Jun 2006, 11:39
Interestingly enough I have spent 40-odd years teaching pilots to "sit on their fingers" when something goes wrong. Only mistakes are made in a hurry.
The only possible emergency in a modern aeroplane that does NOT allow you to sit on your fingers is the sudden loss of cabin pressure at altitude.
If you do not get that oxygen mask on your face within 30 seconds you are going to be no good to man nor beast.
Anything else (including an engine fire on take-off) you have got time to sit on your fingers before touching things that might be serious if touched in a hurry.

"Whoop Whoop Pull Up"

GD&L:ok:

Joetom
11th Jun 2006, 00:59
A friend in HKG tells me, this aircraft now getting new main gear fitted in the hanger.
.
Appears during o/weight landing in LHR, brakes got very very hot indeed and gears need to go off for more checks to find how much work needed to fix em.
.
Did they have brake fire/fires on landing in LHR, anyone know ???:eek:

spannersatcx
11th Jun 2006, 09:49
A friend in HKG tells me, this aircraft now getting new main gear fitted in the hanger.
.
Appears during o/weight landing in LHR, brakes got very very hot indeed and gears need to go off for more checks to find how much work needed to fix em.
.
Did they have brake fire/fires on landing in LHR, anyone know ???:eek::D

You need to get your friend to get his/her facts right, as that is complete and utter rubbish. :rolleyes:

The a/c is inbound to LHR as the 257 11/6/06.

A hardness test was c/o on no5 axle as the temp decal showed overheat, but the hardness check was within limits.

angels
13th Jun 2006, 11:38
Silberfuchs - I've been following this thread with great interest.

Yours is another excellent post amongst the usual load of childish bickering.

Thanks.

jondc9
13th Jun 2006, 19:44
I have found this thread very interesting...some of the things I have noticed:

1. Someone mentioned the question: was it an engine surge or was it a "flameout"? FWIW, a flameout is the engine ceasing combustion, as in "the flame inside the engine went out" not as some, (including moron Rush limbaugh) think "there is FLAME coming OUT of the engine". In some circles the term TORCHING was used.(harkens back to prehistoric days I am sure)

2. The subject of fuel dumping as a myth was mentioned. I have a list somewhere of all planes that can "dump" fuel. And yes, many news programs have gone out of their way to say, "the plane is dumping fuel" when in fact it is burning fuel in the normal course of flying.( I was typing like crazy during one such mis-speak trying to tell the on air person they were wrong) Fuel dumping (fancy word jettison) is used to get the plane to a weight in which a "go around" could be accomplished with respect to the climb segments/degraded capability due to engine failure. While dumping could eventually get you to max landing weight, the idea of dumping is 15 minutes of dumping gets you to a weight that you can try a landing and go around.

dumping tests were done around 4000 or 5000 feet over an open fire and the fuel did not ignite or enhance the open fire...but all of this was way back when.

In general dumping is on very long range planes(with lots of fuel)...think 747, think 777, airbus 340 etc...but surprisingly enough dumping was equipment on DC9's sent to Air Canada, though not to other carriers. (though removed/inop now). Some 767's have dump, some don't. A google search may help you find this list as I will keep mine for special circumstances (you can e mail me if you really want it)

3. Pan vs. Mayday. I have heard Mayday calls in the USA, but never in 30 years have I heard "PAN< PAN<PAN". While part of the lexicon, it is almost never used here. I think losing an engine on a two engine plane may deserve a mayday. I think you should MAYDAY anytime you believe you need assistance to manage a problem. Any time you are unsure of your position, capability of flying at a safe altitude etc deserves a Mayday.

4. About hurrying in a bad situation, I recall the first thing you were to do was "wind the clock" (maintaining control of the plane if you could) so that you woudn't do the WRONG thing. Modern planes may not have "windup" clocks, but "hurry up and slow down" can make sense ( oxygen aside)



Now if would be very simple for me to comment on the 747 LAX business, but I won't. ;-)

Does anyone know the version of the A340 involved, was it a -200 or a 600 or what?

regars

[email protected]

spannersatcx
14th Jun 2006, 07:41
340-300...........

Globaliser
14th Jun 2006, 12:15
3. Pan vs. Mayday. I have heard Mayday calls in the USA, but never in 30 years have I heard "PAN< PAN<PAN". While part of the lexicon, it is almost never used here. I think losing an engine on a two engine plane may deserve a mayday. I think you should MAYDAY anytime you believe you need assistance to manage a problem. Any time you are unsure of your position, capability of flying at a safe altitude etc deserves a Mayday.I believe that it should actually be "PAN PAN; PAN PAN; PAN PAN". See footnote 1 on page 5 of this topical publication (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources/Airbus%20A320-200,%20I-BIKE%2006-06.pdf).

Why should you MAYDAY if PAN is actually exactly what you need for your situation? Unfamiliarity with the proper call isn't really a good reason, is it? Obviously, if you're unsure of the degree of difficulty that you're in, it may be a good idea to MAYDAY first and then downgrade later, but if you know that your situation only requires a PAN, why not just do that?Now if would be very simple for me to comment on the 747 LAX business, but I won't. ;-)As they're different aircraft, that sounds like a good idea! ;) :)